September 2016

In this issue:

HPD community liaison team positive force in Houston, elsewhere

Tom Kennedy

THE SEEMINGLY ENDLESS ACTS OF VIOLENCE against police officers this summer has emblazoned the words EXTRA SAFETY and CAUTION in the minds of all of HPD’s finest. As any Patrol officer who has ever pulled over a driver for a minor offense knows, anything can happen. The precautions we undertake don’t always mean our confrontations Read More Read more

The Draycott Brothers: HPD duo decide to retire at same time, ending 63 years always on Patrol, unceasingly facing dangers of the street

Tom Kennedy

Let the record show that the Houston policing brothers Draycott never shied away from adventure and – even in the stark reality of 63 years on Patrol – never dreaded going to work. That’s their story and they firmly stick to it with undying dedication. Once recounted after their recent retirement, their devotion to duty Read More Read more

Joint retirement decision put the Officers Draycott together on patrol for the last two years of career

Tom Kennedy

A year ago Jason Draycott wanted to retire from HPD. He had an idea – he would approach his older brother Jim and try to persuade him to retire the same day. “I have always loved police work,” Jim said. “I’ve never had a bad day at work in 32 and a half years. My Read More Read more

May 29 Active Shooter: Deputy Constable Luna shot responded to HPD’s ‘Assist’ with well-packed second vest plate and God’s enabling grace

Tom Kennedy

The May 29 active shooter scene in the middle of a Memorial area neighborhood had more than its share of danger and chaos. Deputy Constable Danny Luna had to decipher broadcasts from three different – or was it four? – dispatching agencies, just to join the chaotic backdrop of a mentally deranged shooter spraying bullets Read More Read more

Time for Action

Tom Hayes

After the July 17th execution of three more police officers in Baton Rouge, the rules of engagement have changed. The conversation is over. The time has come for politicians to take action instead of adding to the useless rhetoric. Frankly, I am tired of politicians who speak at fallen officers’ funerals saying that they support Read More Read more

An Officer’s Plea to the Public as told to Barbara A. Schwartz

Barbara A. Schwartz

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in “American Police Beat” and on and is reprinted with permission of the author. LISTEN PLEASE I don’t go to work to hurt anyone. I don’t polish my gun when I get up hoping to kill someone during my workday. I became an officer to keep the public Read More Read more

On the HPD Range: Muzzling on the Range and cooling off the ‘hot brass’

Rob Sandoval

The loudest shot you’ll ever hear comes out the barrel of a gun somebody said wasn’t loaded. This truly relevant piece of gun safety information to those of us who handle guns 24-seven never falls into the useless category. I think of conveying it to fellow officers each time I see them coming in the Read More Read more

Saddiqi’s ongoing communications with Muslim Community has resulted in ‘no serious issues’

Tom Kennedy

Officer Muzaffar Siddiqi established a police communications relationship with Houston’s growing Muslim community in the year 2000, even prior to 9-Eleven, a tragic event that prompted a growing awareness of the religion and its practices. Today Siddiqi is but one of the department’s full-time community liaison officers who develop sources and lines of communications to Read More Read more

HPD a leader in its establishment of policing liaisons to each ethnic, religious and special interest communities

Tom Kennedy

The Houston Police Department continues to take community-oriented policing to new levels that puts the department in national leadership status. HPD currently has on duty full-time liaisons tasked with keeping in steady communications with every special interest, ethnic and religious group in the nation’s most diverse city. Under the Public Affairs Division umbrella, these officers Read More Read more

Special Moment for Father and Son

Badge and Gun Staff

On May 15, officers of the HPD Dive Team responded to a tragic event in the 3600 block of Memorial Drive, near downtown. On the evening of May 13, a citizen lost control of his vehicle and plunged into the swift waters of Buffalo Bayou.  Dive Team members responded and attempted to recover the body Read More Read more

HPD History: Chief Lee Brown laid the strong foundation for HPD’s Strong community liaison practices with all communities

Tom Kennedy

There was some belief that HPD was on the verge of a war with the community with tension reaching palpable proportions to street officers until Mayor Kathy Whitmire picked Lee P. Brown as Houston’s police chief. The prevalent attitude among gays, African-Americans and Hispanics was that the department felt no obligation to reach out for Read More Read more

HPOU chooses Ticas and Saldana Patrol Officers of the Month

Tom Kennedy

The Houston Police Officers Union named Officers Steven Ticas and Jonathan Saldana Patrol Officers of the Month in the Union’s June general membership meeting for their actions in response to a life-threatening fire. On May 8, Mother’s Day, Officer Ticas and Saldana were responding to an apartment fire at 8751 Broadway. Upon arriving they could Read More Read more

Investigator of the Month Lauren Avila honored For saving elderly woman from continuous abuse

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU honored Officer Lauren Avila of the Special Victims Division Family Violence Unit as the latest Investigator of the Month. Officer Avila was recognized for what Sgt. Russell Dukes described as “an outstanding investigative follow-up on an aggravated assault case involving an elderly 77-year-old female.” In this case, the victim’s 17-year-old grandson threatened her Read More Read more

HPD shines at the 2016 Texas Police Games

Jerry McClain

Several active and retired Houston police officers, including family members, came away with medals after competing recently against others from around Texas and the country at the 2016 Texas Police Games, held June 11-18 in San Angelo. The games, originally called the Texas Police Olympics until 1996, has been held since 1977 in different locations Read More Read more

Latest Thank You Notes to HPOU

Tom Kennedy

Dear Friends, Royce and I want to thank you for the beautiful flowers that you sent to her service. She would have loved them. Your thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated. Sheila Murphy Sharon Baker Justice’s sister   HPOU, Thank you so much for allowing me to join you for dinner in DC. Your invitation was very Read More Read more

Fallen Heroes: Officer Henry Williams

Nelson Zoch

February 8, 1886 A headline from the New York Times of Tuesday, February 9, 1886 read: A POLICEMAN MURDERED-THE CRIME OF A MAN DRIVEN CRAZY BY STRONG DRINK  From that same day, a headline from the Galveston Daily News read: SLAIN WITH A SIX-SHOOTER-MORE BLOODSHED IN THE BAYOU CITY  Other newspapers in Dallas and Houston Read More Read more

Sno Cone team puts hot crime on ice In high-call-for-service apartments

Tom Kennedy

The HPOU Sno Cone team strikes again! The Union continued its special community outreach effort by serving sno cones to the kids living in one of Houston’s highest call-for-service apartment complexes. This month the crew went to Westside and the Sugar Branch Condominiums at 10110 Forum Park Drive. “The purpose was to go out there, Read More Read more

Obituaries of HPD Family Members

Tom Kennedy

ALCANTARA Mr. Antonio Alcantara passed away on Monday, May 30, 2016, at the age of 90. He is the father of Retired Senior Police Officer Anthony Alcantara, last assigned to the Night Command and Security Operations, retiring on October 25, 2014. Services were held June 2 with burial in Houston National Cemetery. BENAVIDEZ Mrs. Sylvia Read More Read more

Depression: The Hidden, Silent Killer

Kelsey-Seybold Doctors

Police work is tough. There are long hours, you see first-hand some of the lowest points of humanity and there is a tremendous amount of pressure to “stay strong” for your community and coworkers. But this doesn’t begin to touch why law enforcement is a difficult profession. Jobs like these come with certain occupational hazards, Read More Read more

The story of murder in Granger and the fitting tributes to two brave law enforcement officers

Bob Shelton

Editor’s Note: Granger Police Chief Bob Shelton graduated HPD Police Academy Class No. 70 and worked in Central Patrol, Southeast Patrol, Westside Patrol, Special Thefts and Major Offenders before retiring in July 2000. He joined the Blanco County Sheriff’s Department as an investigator and retired in June 2014 as a lieutenant. He was named chief Read More Read more

From out of the past at HPD

Earl Musick

  Why do police officers love their job? Franklin P. Jones said this about love, “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” A worthwhile police career is found when someone truly loveshis job. The policemen I respect the most are the ones that loved being police officers. One Read More Read more

Editorial: HPD community liaison team positive force in Houston, elsewhere

Tom Kennedy

THE SEEMINGLY ENDLESS ACTS OF VIOLENCE against police officers this summer has emblazoned the words EXTRA SAFETY and CAUTION in the minds of all of HPD’s finest. As any Patrol officer who has ever pulled over a driver for a minor offense knows, anything can happen. The precautions we undertake don’t always mean our confrontations Read More Read more